When people mistreat you

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

I don't enjoy being mistreated but every now and then it happens. It never feels good. I'm often left with negative feelings. I also want to take action. 

There is a difference between what I want to do when others mistreat me and what God expects me to do. Here are a few reminders from the Holy Scriptures:

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV)

Jesus' standards are certainly different. Loving one's enemy is not easy but that is what we are called to do. Praying for those who mistreat us, and blessing them is what we are called to do. It all starts with totally forgiving those who mistreat us. 

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV)

Jesus demonstrated forgiveness on the cross. He never asks us to do something He didn't do Himself. 

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV) 

Letting go of anger and bitterness when people mistreat us is a choice. Only through God's power, I can be kindhearted. Only through my own choice, informed by God's word, I can forgive as Christ forgave me. 

There is freedom when we forgive. I hope you join me in forgiving those who mistreat us. 

Please know that I am not speaking of crimes. Crimes should be brought to authorities so justice can prevail. When in question, speak with a trusted friend.